Book Review: Batgirl Vol. 1 (Rebirth) Beyond Burnside by Hope Larson

Batgirl Volume 1 (Rebirth) Beyond Burnside by Hope Larson collects issues one through six. Barbara Gordon’s heart belongs to Burnside, the ultra-hip Gotham City neighborhood. But some threats are bigger than Burnside. And when those threats come calling, Batgirl will answer! When Babs plans a trip to train with the greatest fighters in the Far East, she has no idea her vigilante life will follow her. Lethal warriors are out to take her down, each bearing the mysterious mark of “The Student.” And where there are Students, there must also be…a Teacher. Batgirl’s quest to track down her enemies’ master will take her from Okinawa to Singapore to Seoul to Shanghai. Along the way, she’ll enhance her martial arts skills, and meet legendary heroes. 
Beyond Burnside takes place before the Birds of Prey story in the Rebirth story cycle. It is a look at Bab's past, and an interesting side story. As a fan of the idea of Batgirl, I have not read much about her aside from where she appears in other character's comics as a supporting character. This was a good glimpse at her background, and I really enjoyed the artwork and tone of the story. Batgirl is finding herself and ready to study and improve her skills to become who and what she wants to be. The mystery part of the story was good, but I think it was the character strength and development that really made the book.  I enjoyed the read, but only wish I had already read the Birds of Prey story- and more Batgirl books. 

Beyond Burnside is a good book, and one that tells a side story that is well done and fun- but not a must read. 
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